Foundation studies

Case studies

Our students frequently tell us that the extra year gives them greater confidence and prepares them for university life and the different style of learning, before starting their degree course. They also tell us that their foundation year ultimately led to a higher level of achievement in their finals.

Here's what some of our Foundation Studies students have to say about the programme.

Rob Balfour, Mechanical Engineering MEng

"I applied to do a foundation year as I didn't get the required A Levels, but still wanted to study at Loughborough. The foundation course was a brilliant way to bridge the gap between A Levels and first year. I took a year out between school and university and the course helped me get back into self-study learning. As some of the material was a refresher from A Levels, it allowed me to focus on my exam technique and improve how I work. The course is well structured and interesting, teaching a broad range of science and engineering. It really helped to set me up for the rest of my university career and I would definitely recommend it.  I am currently in Part C of my Masters in Mechanical Engineering Degree with Sandwich year and Foundation year."

James White, Product Design Engineering MEng

"The Foundation programme has provided me with a chance to progress onto an undergraduate degree at Loughborough due to not having the prior required qualifications in the correct subjects. Due to my lack of knowledge in maths and physics, I found the course challenging but incredibly motivating. The student support available to Foundation Studies students gave me a real opportunity to progress with a solid understanding of fundamental engineering principles and how to study effectively. The extra year also prepared me mentally to the University lifestyle. As a result I found transition onto my chosen degree less stressful and ultimately more satisfying."

Esala Kaluperuma, Mathematical Sciences BSc

"Undoubtedly, the foundation year has helped me a lot . As I started studies at university after very long time from my A Levels , Foundation Studies was the ideal programme for me to start everything from the begging . Especially, the Mathematics, Physics and Programming modules helped directly for my chosen programme Mathematics. In addition, it was useful to have modules in communication skills as English is my second language. Finally, I would like to thank for the tutors for their high quality teaching."

Henry Tacey, Physics BSc

"Foundation Studies has been such a great experience for me. After spending five years out of education it has really helped me get back into the swing of studying, whilst also giving me a firm understanding of a broad range of scientific subjects and skills. The course itself is very thorough, it is understandable why such a large proportion of Foundation Studies students go on to get a 2.1 or first class degree. What's more, the added bonus of meeting so many students from different disciplines, whether chemistry, mechanical engineering, physics or otherwise, whom you otherwise may not have crossed paths with, is delightful. All in all, my foundation year has been a fantastic experience for me and I would urge anyone to apply for it if they're looking to prepare for a degree course at University."

Read more in the Undergraduate Prospectus >>

Bradley Mee, BSc Electronic and Electrical Engineering

"Loughborough offers a foundation year which was ideal for me, especially as you’re assured of a place on a degree course if you pass. It is also in a great location and has fantastic facilities on campus.

I joined the military after school and had no A-levels. Completing the foundation course meant I did not have to spend 2 years at college and made sure I was being taught exactly what I needed for the degree course. It was also a better experience being at a university compared to a college.

The foundation year definitely added value with the maths and availability of lecturers to help outside of class or tutorials. The Math help centre was essential to me.

My advice to anyone considering a foundation course would be that it is not a year off and the course is challenging, even for students who have completed A-levels in relevant subjects. However, it is very good at providing the essential topics for doing well on a degree course.

I am now currently 1 year into a DPhil. in engineering."

Emma Wiggins, BSc Physics

"The extra year of Foundation Studies has been invaluable to me. I came to Loughborough as a mature student having spent a good few year out of any formal education setting. The programme was incredibly useful as a means to fill in the gaps in my knowledge or re-jog my memory, reacquaint myself with an academic setting, and give me an induction into Loughborough’s unique university culture.

The facilities and the support that is available to students is extensive and first-class, such as the Mathematics Learning Support Centre, student services, mentoring or buddying schemes and the Foundation Studies programme team. I decided to become a mature student and physics buddy after having a buddy during my foundation year. I found that having that extra year before I started my undergraduate degree in Physics was a great time to get to know my department, the university and renew past interests. By the time my first year started I already knew where everything was and who I needed to talk to if problems arose which made my learning experience much smoother than students coming straight into the first year.

The foundation programme is set-up by the university in conjunction with the departments involved so what you learn in that year is exactly or slightly above the level that they will be teaching at in your first year, and is tailored to fit the degree you are going on to study at undergraduate level. If it was up to me, I would have every student take the Foundation Studies programme before they start their undergraduate degree, but I suppose I’m biased!"

Anthony Mott, Product Design Engineering MEng

I’m soon to be a finalist on the PDE MEng course. I have completed summer internships with Abbott Laboratories, in the pharmaceutical industry, working in engineering of their manufacturing capabilities, and quality improvement processes. At Abbott I am looking towards progressing into a graduate role, which rotates me in various engineering roles throughout the UK, Europe, or the USA, in various divisions of the company. This is a highly dynamic job, requiring a broad range of skills that I have gone beyond the required means to learn at Loughborough University, to which I owe a lot of my ambition.

Foundation Studies helped me because I came to Loughborough having done Biology, Maths & Chemistry, but had never studied in any great depth Physics/Mechanics. I can say with great confidence, that the physical aspects of my course are now some of my greatest, and I doubt I would be as capable going into the Mechanical/Manufacturing engineering industry if it weren’t for the foundation programme. 

Sanmaré van der Bijl, Mathematical Sciences Mmath

"A foundation year seemed perfectly suited for bridging the gap between college and University, in a supportive environment, whilst still being able to go to university and take the next steps in adulthood like my friends going onto bachelor’s degrees.

Foundation year set me up for further studies both in terms of my attitude towards my studies but also with how best to study for my style of learning. I found foundation year fully developed me in both these areas, making a massive positive impact for all my years of study afterwards.

My advice to anyone considering foundation studies at Loughborough is approach it with an open mind, attend an open day and meet the team. You will be thoroughly impressed.

Since graduating, I have started working as a software engineer for Rolls-Royce."